Stupid ?s with Matt Phillips and The Philharmonic

Will Stricklin/Mixer<br />Matt Phillips and the Philharmonic, from left: Connor Mangold, Travis Huff, Gregory Williams, Matt Phillips and Tre Harrison.

Will Stricklin/Mixer
Matt Phillips and the Philharmonic, from left: Connor Mangold, Travis Huff, Gregory Williams, Matt Phillips and Tre Harrison.


Matt Phillips and The Philharmonic are Spazz Fest veterans, having performed the last two years. They are also Mixer veterans. Matt wrote a making-of-the-album story for Mixer’s August issue for the band’s sophomore album “Move.” We also profiled the band in our April 2013 issue.

Since we’ve already gotten some of the more serious topics about the band on the record, Mixer decided to bring back an old stand-by favorite feature, and ask the group — composed of Tre Harrison (drums), Travis Huff (saxophone), Connor Mangold (trumpet), Gregory Williams (bass) and Matt Phillips (guitar, keyboard, harmonica, vocals) — some stupid questions.

Check out Matt Phillips and The Philharmonic at Spazz Fest V, playing the opening night on Thursday, March 20 at The Tipsy Teapot. If you see Travis, ask him to tell you a joke, just not while he’s on stage.

Mixer: Are there any bands that you all disagree on whether they’re actually good bands?

MP&ThePhilharmonic: We generally tend to agree on bands that are better. We talk about music a lot but we all kind of find the same things appealing in bands — I guess that’s why we’re in a group together.

Matt: I used to listen to Nickleback ….

The rest of the band: (Laughing) We disagree about that.


Mixer: What’s the worst thing an audience member has done while you’re performing?

MP&ThePhilharmonic: There was one time when a guy came on stage and he had like, trail mix. He was eating it.

Matt: I’ve had beer spilled on my piano a bunch. I’ve had people sit on the keyboard. There was a show with a guy playing a harmonica (in the crowd), but he only had one harmonica. If you’ve seen the show, I have several and I pick one for the right key, but this guy was just playing in C Major all night, just going for it. You couldn’t really hear him over how loud we were playing, so we were just kind of jamming along with him, going like “Yeah! Go C Major guy!”


Mixer: What’s the best thing an audience member has done during a performance?

MP&ThePhilharmonic: We had one of our friends come up and dance on stage just because. We were like “yo David, come dance,” and he was like “all right” so that was really fun.


Mixer: What’s your take on the stereotype of guys in bands who get all the girls?

MP&ThePhilharmonic: It’s not true (lots of laughter).

Matt: Everybody’s always like, “Matt Phillips, you must throw yourself out there at the ladies,” but I suck at … I’ve maybe gotten two numbers in my whole life. I have a steady girlfriend so I’m always, I guess, low key, around the ladies. I think we’re all kind of like that. We like to keep it chill — which is kind of lingo for “not get laid.”


Mixer: Do people ever come in expecting something totally different from your show because your name includes “the Philharmonic”?

MP&ThePhilharmonic: Yes. I think a lot of people come in expecting to see classical music, but nobody comes in wearing a tux.


Mixer: Are there any other band names that you guys considered?

MP&ThePhilharmonic: We get more people misspelling and misinterpreting our name than anything. Our Facebook group is called “Tre Harrison and the Harriet Tubmans.” We Photoshopped a picture of all five of us and one of our big fans, Alex. All five of us except Tre and Alex, our faces are pictures of Harriett Tubman. That’s the cover photo of the band page — Tre and this girl and a bunch of Harriet Tubmans. If we were “Tre Harrison and the Harriet Tubmans,” we would be so popular.

Matt: It just sucks because I can’t change my name to Tre Harrison.

MP&ThePhillharmonic: We thought about all of us changing our names to Matt Phillips, and then we could be “Matt Phillips and the Matt Phillips.”


Mixer: Do you have any favorite fictional band names or real band names that are really weird?

MP&ThePhillharmonic: Empty orchestra.

Matt: I think Butthole Surfers is a great name — it’s a punk band from the ’80s and ’90s.


Mixer: What’s your favorite hangout spot in Greenville?

MP&ThePhillharmonic: The house (shared by several band members), or Tipsy Teapot. We’ve just played so many shows there.

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